The ESA took advantage of an existing resource
(an unused greenhouse) and transformed it into
a lush rainforest.
Tropical Rainforest Interactive Presentations (TRIP) is an ongoing project carried
out by students in their second year of the Environmental Science Academy (ESA)
at the GASC Technology Center in Flint, Michigan. TRIP, which was launched in
1998, took a greenhouse on campus (formally operated by the Horticulture program)
and transformed it into a 1200 square foot living rainforest. The rainforest
was constructed and is maintained by ESA students. The primary purpose of the
rainforest is to serve as a teaching tool. Second year academy students research
and plan thematic, interactive group presentations on rainforest ecosystems
for local elementary school children. In addition to science, TRIP incorporates
language arts, graphic design, mathematics, social studies, technology, geography,
communications, leadership, team building, and career exploration. TRIP (recently
renamed the Rainforest Odyssey) continues to be the source of environmental
projects for students.